Safaricom paybill charges slashed

Safaricom has cut pay-bill fees in half to encourage more users and merchants to use its mobile-money network, M-Pesa, to pay each other.

The move is meant to go along with the Central Bank of Kenya's recent announcement that there will be lower fees for sending money from mobile money wallets to banks starting on January 1.

The cost of payments of Ksh. 100 and less will continue to be zero-rated by Safaricom under the amended pay bill rates, which also take effect on January 1, 2023.

Pay bill costs, which reflect the highest payment band on pay bills, will now cost Ksh. 105 instead of the existing Ksh. 210 for transactions between Ksh. 50,001 and Ksh. 150,000.

On the other hand, pay bill fees for business-to-customer payments will now vary from Ksh. 5 to Ksh. 12, up from a previous limit of Ksh. 12.40.

"As part of our duty to keep the economy going and encourage growth, we have worked hard to cut our pay bill and business-to-business prices by a lot," CEO of Safaricom Plc, Peter Ndegwa said.

CEO of Safaricom Plc, Peter Ndegwa, added, "This action shows how committed we are to helping all of our customers and helping them live their lives in the most cost-effective way possible, especially now when most Kenyans are going through tough economic times."

According to CBK advice, fees from M-Pesa to banks have decreased by an average of 47%, while fees from banks to M-Pesa will decrease by an average of 61% starting in 2019.

All M-Pesa pay bill payments that clients make for utilities, including energy, medical bills, school tuition, and government payments, are anticipated to be subject to the lower M-Pesa to bank pricing.

Safaricom hopes that by making M-Pesa a more affordable way to pay for things, they can bring back customers who had stopped using mobile money because the prices were too high.

In the six months to the end of September, M-Pesa earnings from business payments, including customer-to-business (C2B), business-to-customer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), and Lipa na M-Pesa, rose by 12.3 percent to Ksh. 12.6 billion.

The payments accounted for 2.6% of M-Pesa's overall 8.7% revenue increase, with the mobile money platform's total profits for the time period coming to Ksh 56.9 billion. 

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